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Solon council approves Prairie Acres expansion

By Doug Lindner
Solon Economist
SOLON– Little by little, Solon continues to grow into its residential subdivisions.
Two more sections of new residential lots– sections four and five of Prairie Acres– were approved at a recent council meeting.
Prairie Acres is one of three currently active housing developments in Solon, located on the eastern side of the city in the vicinity of Plum Street and Raymond Drive.
At the Aug. 15 meeting of the Solon City Council, developers Dave and Brad Randall were present to answer questions regarding the preliminary plat for Prairie Acres Parts 4 and 5. The 22 lots in the two sections are located to the north of Plum Street on an extension of Raymond Drive, closing the gap between the Prairie Acres and Windmill Estates subdivisions.
The preliminary plat and the associated construction documents were approved by the council unanimously, with member Mark Krall absent, on a 4-0 vote.
The plat had previously been approved by the Solon Planning and Zoning Commission.
“It’s gone through the channels so far, and received a green light up to this point,” city administrator Cassandra Lippincott commented to the council members.
The developers will begin with nine north and south lots on the western edge of Raymond Drive, and include a connection between Majestic Oak Ridge in Windmill Estates and Plum Street in Prairie Acres.
The plat shows a small section of the extending road designated Prairie Acres Drive, and Lippincott noted later it was unclear whether the street would retain the platted name or adopt the Majestic Oak moniker of the street it is extending.
Council member Steve Stange questioned the buildable space on one odd-shaped lot, and council member Brad Kunkel asked about the spacing of street lights, but city representatives didn’t have much else in the way of questions for the developers.
After the vote, Stange thanked the developers for addressing the extension between the two subdivsions.
“It alleviates some emergency concerns for us, so we appreciate you putting that into this,” he commented.
Earlier in the meeting, council members approved importing an additional 22 acres of land on Racine Avenue into the city, but not for the purposes of development.
The city hosted an annexation hearing after receiving an application from Michael and Angela Bails, currently residents of North Liberty, who wished to have 22.79 acres of current farm ground become part of Solon’s city limits.
The property is located on the south side of 180th Street NE at its intersection with Racine Avenue, and is contiguous with the current boundaries of the city.
According to Duane Musser of MMS Consultants, the Bails family was seeking to create a buildable lot in the northwest corner of the property for a residence, but the remainder would stay as farm ground. Any future sale of the farm ground would require subdivision approval from the city.
“I don’t want this to cost us money,” stated Stange, who said he didn’t want to get 10 years down the road and have to spend $300,000 to replace a bridge on Racine Avenue.
City engineer Dave Schechinger said the box culvert being referred to was relatively new. He said he saw no significant financial risk for the city.
Lippincott explained the city would have to take over ownership of 180th Street and Racine along the annexation site, but she suggested it would have little impact other than the need to come to an agreement with Johnson County regarding maintenance.